About this Show

Capitol Hill Hearings

News/Business.

NETWORK

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 91 (627 MHz)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 10, Chicago 8, Romney 7, Obama 6, New York 4, Washington 3, Iowa 3, Tim Pawlenty 2, Barack Obama 2, Jesse Barry 2, Robert Kennedy 2, David Axelrod 2, Afghanistan 2, Katie Couric 1, Rob Portman 1, Biden 1, John F. Kennedy 1, Martin Luther King 1, John Lindsay 1, Annie 1,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    December 26, 2012
    6:00 - 6:59am EST  

6:00am
what a difficult issue was. we took the offensive on it. the president said we have been trying to solve this problem for 60 years. if we do not do it in the first two years, it will never get done. we're not here to husband their popularity and admire it on the shelf. we're here to use it and get things done and make it permanent difference for the better the life of this country. for the last story, i was with him the day before osama bin laden was killed. i didn't know. by now, i was out of the white house. so i went back there to help on jokes. and we had lunch. at the lunch, he had just been
6:01am
down to alabama where they had a terrible storm and he was telling me stories of those he met down there and finding get the difference at cape canaveral. it was after she had been shot. he never imagined that she would recover from that at all. and it was just a normal conversation. then the speech writers came in and we went through the jokes. we got to play jokes -- poor tim pawlenty. annie says let's take this out. osama bin laden. that is so yesterday. [laughter] let's take it out. and someone says, well, we can stick in hosni who was still in power.
6:02am
and obama says, yes, let's do that. and that is not funny at all. but he is the president. [laughter] the next night, my wife susan was sitting over here. where are you? there you are. say hello to my wife, susan. [applause] a k-12 lab schooler. so i went to sleep early and had a television show in the morning. she said would gut, i think they just got osama bin laden. my blackberry was blowing up. my wife turned on the tv.
6:03am
and i realized, as i was watching the president, he knew at the time that we had gone together the day before that that he had ordered this mission. he knew that, if it had gone poorly, not only with lives be lost, but our security would be roiled. but his political career would probably be over. and he was completely calm because he felt he had done the right thing. i hear what our supporters have to say and i appreciate our supporters. but i am very, very proud of this president and what he accomplished under very difficult circumstances over the first four years. [applause] >> you got your start in politics as a 5-year-old kid. >> yes. >> you rallied for jfk. >> yes. i grew up in a housing community that was developed for a returning war veterans. there was a woman named jesse
6:04am
barry who was from harlem. she was a great lady, classic american story. she came up from the south and did not have much of a formal education that had a ph.d. in life. and she heard that john f. kennedy was coming. it was days before the 1960 election and she thought i should see it. so she put me on top of a mailbox on this huge boulevard and i watched as this canyon filled in with people. and this very charismatic young man -- i was hooked. i did not know what he was saying. i did not understand what he was saying. how was not that precocious. and i knew it was very important. it was very exciting. now i know from google what he said and part of what he said
6:05am
was i am not running on a platform that says if you elect me things will be easy. being an american 6 in 1960 is very hazardous but with hope we will decide which path we take. i thought back at those words over the last four years because it was parallel to another young candidate. jesse barry had a very difficult life as she had hoped for the future. and i think about what she would have thought, knowing that that little boy shook on the mailbox would be working for the president and that president would be named barack obama. it is incredible. >> politics was a part of the conversation on a regular basis
6:06am
with your parents? >> yes. that was part of my interest. back in the new york city public schools, i had a great teacher. mrs. roth would read the newspaper and about martin luther king. he was rising in all of that, and the civil rights movement and she exposed us to lot. but i was just a junkie. the time i was 9 years old, i was handing leaflets out for robert kennedy. when i was 10, i made a big decision and broke with the democratic party and went to work for john lindsay who was running for mayor of new york. i went down to the liberal party headquarters and was handing out leaflets on the
6:07am
street corner in new york. some women thought this was really cute, this little boy and leaflets. and she asked me why. and i made the case and got in early start in my political career. she said this is for you and she hands this box of pastries. i took a back to the liberal headquarters and we opened it up and there were all of these doughnuts and a lot of $10 bills. one of my early lessons in politics -- the district leader grabbed the money and said you can keep the doughnuts. [laughter] >> you and the friend sold bumper stickers for robert kennedy. >> yes. >> and buttons and other things. >> for those of us who lived through it and remember, that
6:08am
was a time of great turmoil, but also of the idealism. when senator obama was thinking of running for president, we had a long talk about it. i said to him, you're too young to remember that, but we really have not had a campaign that really energize people in that way. especially young people. we ought to try to build the kind of campaign. i am proud that we were able to do that. i thought about that a lot when i would come to the headquarters in this campaign with hundreds of gifted and well-motivated young kids who wanted to change the world. that is why they were there. there were not there for any small reason. >> and certainly the president feels that way. the video afterwards. >> yes, it was such an
6:09am
incredibly moving moment. i have seen a little bit of it the night before. it was his last campaign speech ever for himself. and it all began in iowa talk about these magnificent young people who work with us for a year and a half and he talked about what it meant to him, that they were so devoted, not to him, but to the country and their vision of what the country could be. and the kind of choked up their, but, yes, it was a remarkable moment. what you could not see on the tape, afterwards, he made this very inspiring talk to these young volunteers here he went to every single one of them and gave them a hug and talk to them and encourage them. i saw most of them. the next night was a going away
6:10am
party and every single one of them, you could tell the this is something they would hold for the rest of their lives. add to the list of the things that i am proud of, i am proud that the president has helped inspire a bunch of young people to get involved. >> we are here on the campus of the university of chicago and thinking about your time here as an undergraduate on campus. you had a chance to go to columbia university and you decided to come here. >> to have done your research. >> then president obama. tell me who david axelrod is that 20 years old, thinking about the world of politics here in chicago. how were you envisioning your future? >> first of all, i came to chicago for a couple of reasons.
6:11am
i had a homer and teacher in high school who said to the whole class -- draw, you get a map and draw a circle run the city of new york 600 miles and go to school out of that. because your parents will never surprise you with a visit if they have to take an airplane. [laughter] but the bigger reason was that i wanted to go to school in an urban area, and a place where the politics were rich. this was four years after the democratic convention, the last of the big city machines were still alive and politics were really vital. i came to the university of chicago probably ill-equipped to take advantage of everything the institution had to offer. and a little frustrated because there was no is to politics. there were no outlets. i used to joke -- forgive me if the dean is here or anybody else -- that was 40 years ago.
6:12am
i said i could not find anybody who wanted to talk about anything that happened after the year 1800. [laughter] so i found other outlets for my interests and that i'll let was writing. i went back to new york after my freshman year and got a job at a newspaper in greenwich village. i was hired to write a political column when i was 19 for the "the hyde park harold" and it was for publication. this became the focus of my activity when i was here. and it was largely to state my interest in politics.
6:13am
but i did not have any life plan. i did not expect someday i would be working for the president of the united states. i did not know that i would not be a newspaperman. i really love journalism. as the love and believe in journalism. i worry a little bit about what is happening to it and whether people can find ways to monetized good journalism and if there is an incentive to keep doing it, to keep publishing it. i always tell young people to make a 30-year plan. but it is very rare that you actually execute on it. it is better to follow your passions if you can and go where life leads you. where life has led me has been extraordinary up to and including the ability to help start this institute.
6:14am
>> you, as a reporter and political columnist for "the chicago tribune," it has been about eight years? >> yes. >> right out of college. >> yes. >> you were steeped in the world of politics. you told me once that everything you have come to know about politics began here. what did you learn about politics from covering it as a boy? allip o'neill said that politics is local. i thought about that as i travel around the world with the president and i heard foreign leaders and their aides talk about the challenges they were facing. but the same time the world getting together to engage in the problems of the world, they were looking over their shoulder at their own constituencies, the other party, and so on. and getting to the motivation,
6:15am
the route interest. >> is the culture different here? is there something different here? >> well, that seems like a leading question. look, i mean, i think there is a rich tradition in chicago politics. there is a tradition of politicians trying to get rich. the first is good and the second is not. i think the people are passionate about the politics here. politics is very local. i am a big aficionado of urban politics. i have been to a lot of mayors races around the country because this is where the rubber hits the road. mayors deal with life-and-death issues, quality of life issues, and they are responsible, city council members are responsible. and that is something that i think people -- there's something very good about that.
6:16am
obviously, there is a tradition of corruption that has touched our politics. our last two governors are in prison. that is not a shining of for the land of lincoln. but i also think there are some very good people who cared deeply about their constituents. there is a vitality to our politics that i appreciate. >> we will be taking questions from those of you in the audience as well. in just a few minutes, we will bring up the microphone and ask you to one of behind them. in fact, some of the members of the student advisory committee are up there now. for those of you will have a question for david, please make your way down to the microphones and we will take your questions in just a second. there's so much i am fascinated by in terms of your transition
6:17am
from journalism to consulting. but let me jump to the institute politics. it speaks to your interest in trying to improve the political culture broadly speaking. why start this here now? " partly it is because of my experience four years ago. a magnificent institution as this is and attracts so many incredible students, there should be more to expose students to possibilities of a career in the public arena. and i don't mean just as a candidate, but as advisers, as policy people, speech writers, the whole gamut that goes into the public's discourse. journalism itself and coverage and analysis. all of it is very vital. i want to expose students to
6:18am
practitioners in the field who are very good and give them a model to think about as they are choosing careers. because we need talented, well- motivated young people. and it is easy to turn away. there is a lot about our politics that is frustrating and dispiriting, it easy to turn away from it. but if you turn away, you are yielding to those things that make politics dispiriting. the only way to truly change it is to get into the arena and make a difference. in this auditorium and on this campus, there are young people who are uniquely equipped to make a difference. when the president tiered up at that the event, he said i feel good about the future because i
6:19am
know every single person in this room in some form or fashion will make a difference. i have run my races and i want to encourage young people to get in the arena and run. >> let's move to some questions from the audience. let me start on the left side first. >> at the start of the conversation, you mentioned something about gallup polls not matching up with your own internal estimates. what kind of internal estimates do you have? is it similar to the 538 model or other quantitative models? how much do you think that quantitative messages play in the success of a political campaign? >> first of all, there is a
6:20am
more famous alumnus at this institution. [laughter] [applause] i think it is important to know where you are in a race. the goal is to win, so it is important to know where your and also to understand how people react -- where you are and also how to understand the way people react. so the research is important. but it is only valuable if it is accurate. so we invested a lot in a large number smart people. in the winter, we will be spending six weeks the winter, e spending six weeks
6:21am
am i not supposed to announce this? this would be an awkward time to say yes. [laughter] we will spend six weeks really drilling deep into the presidential race, polling and research, and part of what we will evaluate is these public polls, why do they differ so greatly from the data that we had. so they really are important. like anything else, if you abuse them, there can be -- they can be a negative in a campaign. if you're just trying to match up with wherever public opinion is at the time, i think it can be -- polling can be very destructive. but if you understand how to present the idea is that you have and see how people react to them and what you want to come forward and you use it to understand where your strength is and where your strength is not and where to put your resources and were not to, it is invaluable. you cannot run a campaign
6:22am
without good research. it is like building a 747 and leaving the guidance system off. you have to have it but you cannot leave the guidance system off. >> previously, you mentioned the surprised that mitt romney chose paul ryan as a running mate. who did you think he would pick? >> good question. i thought tim pawlenty. running in these national races is really hard. i remember the day that -- we were leaving denver after the convention and we learned that, on the airplane, mccain had chosen sarah palin.
6:23am
so went to the front of the airplane to senator obama and senator biden had been newly selected as his running mate. he said i think i am reasonably smart. it took me like six months to figure out how to be a presidential candidate, how to deal with the stop light, how to -- the spotlight, how to deal with the national politics. she may be the smartest politician ever and she may be able to come out of alaska to handle all of this. but i will give her three weeks. three weeks to the day, she did her interview with katie couric, which effectively ended it for her. [laughter]
6:24am
i thought that they might make a conservative choice, someone who had at least a taste of the national stage or, which was more of a consensus in the political committee, that he might take rob portman from ohio because ohio is so important. portman was a guy who is a center-right conservative, who might be more broad. i think barack was surprised by the choice. >> do you think portman could have changed the outcome? >> i don't know. there is a lot of reflection on that in romneyland. >> when you were talking about
6:25am
the adjustment that obama felt he had to undergo, and tell me what are the difficult things? >> what is different is the intense relentless scrutiny. remember, most candidates get to begin with very little press or no press in rooms of tender 12. he can -- of 10 or 12. he opened up right on broadway. and all of the reviewers were in the front row on the first day. as he was developing his chops as a presidential candidate, they were already evaluating. if you look at the first four months to five months of the primerica made it was very negative.
6:26am
he was underperforming. he was overrated. in the first stage. >> yes. they were bad. he said at the time, i am not a good candidate, but i will become one. i will learn to become a good himself. >> and all of your experience with candidates, what are the intangibles that candidates need to separate? >> i think authenticity. i thought about the sale lot when i was watching the other campaign. george burns used to joke that all you need to succeed in show business is sincerity. and if you can fake that, you got it made. [laughter] i think genuine authenticity is important, especially in a presidential candidacy. and barack obama is very authentic.
6:27am
that undergirded us in many ways, and even in this campaign. people felt comfortable with who he was. they were not going to be surprised by him. they knew what drove him. and they felt comfortable. >> another question from this side. >> after a the citizens united supreme court decision, there was a lot of worry about the effect this would have on campaigns, especially with the effect of super donors giving millions and millions of dollars to one campaign. i was wondering to what extent did super pacs affect both sides? are those fears -- how founded are they? light? i am wondering about your views in general.
6:28am
>> the thing to be hopeful about is that a billion dollars or so were spent and then a billion more on the wrong side. win -- from the romney is size. and we were able to win. hundreds of millions of dollars were spent against democratic republican super pacs. there were democratic super pacs as well. the money was spent on their side. almost all of their targets, almost all the candidates lost. i do not think that money -- that put enormous pressure on the democrat -- democratic match it.
6:29am
it was more so in congressional races -- people gave less information and were more subject to being influenced by ads. we saw some races -- quite a bit of money was spent against bill foster. he won overwhelmingly. $6 million of super pac money was spent against him. tammy duckworth in her race -- she was still able to win. i do not think it is a healthy thing for the body politic to have people writing $10 million, $20 million, $30 million, $40 million checks. but it is a reality we may have to live with if we cannot change it. we should try and change it through whatever means are appropriate or available. the supreme court -- the supreme court changes over time,
6:30am
they may want to evaluate some of this. so i am heartened by the fact that we were able to overcome it in this election. i worry about the future. not every candidate will have the particular advantages barack obama that had in his ability to raise money. side? >> there seems to be a growing consensus or perception that, unlike past democratic president, president obama has not left a ideological format of what it means to be a democrat. there is -- there has been a fear that with the party going so big and republicans moving to the right, there could be a
6:31am
battle for the soul of the party in the next four or eight years. do you see a post-obama age -- a happening? >> we just pushed the post- obama[laughter] >> i know. even in the next four years? >> what this president stands for -- i talked earlier about the fight we had. i was reading a book some of you may have read that was excellent about clarence darrow. he talked about some of the fights in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. during the gilded age and the progressive era. so much of the dialogue -- there were differences, but the fundamental philosophical debate was very much the same
6:32am
way we had in this election. do we believe that the strength of our country and the economy comes from a broad number of people, the middle class, those working to get into the middle class, or do we believe it comes from the wealth- generating capacity of those at the top? this has been a longstanding debate, and i think it was very vital in this election. president obama can carry the banner high and proudly and well. the things he has done, whether it is health reform or education reform, making higher education more affordable, expanding pell grants, creating the consumer financial protection bureau. they are all aimed at one thing -- to create a economy in which we have a vital middle-class and our tax policy reflects that as well.
6:33am
opportunity is broadly available. i think that is solidly in the mainstream of the democratic party. we can have a debate about means of achieving that, and i think we have to do some soul- searching about how in the 21st century we achieve those goals, and whether all the avenues and pathways that made sense 50 and 60 and 70 years ago are still valid today. many of them may be -- some may not. on the fundamental goals, he is solidly in the position of the democratic party, solidly progressive. i think that is a lot of what the election was about. >> in this election it has been observed that much of the advertising was predominantly
6:34am
negative. i would like to ask -- i know in this. including an obama at that scene to insinuate that a woman -- bain as responsible for a woman losing her insurance and somehow causing her death. ads like that seem to degrade the whole political process. i wanted your comments on negative advertising. >> i agree that there are ads process. i saw many of them in the last campaign. many of them aimed at us. on that particular ad, that was not from the obama campaign. that was from the super pac. we made clear that we did not think that was appropriate to accuse romney of somehow being
6:35am
death. it was inappropriate. i should point out that that ad ran exactly one time in this whole big country. partly, i suppose, because we made at disapprobation known publicly. were there legitimate issues about bain and romney's business practices? i really believe there were, and it goes to the larger debate. if you outsource jobs and cut benefits and destroy pensions -- profit off of bankruptcy's well workers lose their pensions and their jobs and benefits, is that a -- it may be a good practice for you. is it a good policy for the country? no. there were legitimate issues, but that was not one of them. that was not an appropriate ad. but look -- to your broader
6:36am
question, this was a very tough election. it was tough on both sides. romney, more than 90% of ads run in the primary were negative. he did not change his habits. so we had to make a case as well. we spend a lot of time and money, especially during the key period, really trying to define romney. we did. just to get the sequence -- we spent a month in the battleground states running positive advertising about the president. that is how we began our media campaign. >> the thinking they're being -- shore up the narrative and the accomplishments. >> yes. we thought we had plenty to share. and we did. but it was clear that if we just allow romney -- the local
6:37am
chamber of commerce president, if that was the image people had, that would not be in our interest and would not focus the race the way it really shed. >> you wanted voters to have -- after experiencing the ads against governor romney -- what were the things you wanted them to feel? >> basically that he was out of touch with their economic experience and his fundamental view of the economy was not one that incorporates them. but when the 47% take came out it was a ramification of our views. -- ratification of our view. >> he said was the greatest gift -- it reinforce the narrative you were trying to --
6:38am
>> these kinds of things are either meaningless, like when they tried to spend tens of billions of dollars on the you did not build that thing. it really fell on deaf ears because people did not really believe that was what the president was saying. this tape was not in the statement -- it was like an essay. his remarks after the election seemed to reinforce that. this was his philosophy. this was his view. that was a fundamentally different view than the president's. we made the case -- we made it on a sustained basis. and ultimately, i think it worked. >> i want to get to more questions from the audience, but let me pull back slightly to the broader question. have you defend the profession. we have talked a lot about the problems of politics. clearly the questionnaire --
6:39am
questioner alluded to politics. there are many people who say you want to look at particular causes and forces that shaped the climate -- political consultants are one of them. what is your response to the broad criticism about political consultants being associated with the worst elements of politics as opposed to the best? >> some are. you could do this in a principled way and in an unprincipled way. campaigns are hard. if you read american history, you very quickly realized that our campaigns are not anymore -- they are probably much less brutal than some of the campaigns of the past in american history. but because of the amplification of television, of now the internet, and so on, there is a broadness. if somebody says something in kansas, it goes around the
6:40am
world almost immediately. somebody says something like governor romney did in a roomful of supporters that they thought was an intimate setting, that it ultimately was not. that has changed. look, we have had strongly contested elections throughout our history because there are big things at stake. if you do your job right, you want to make sure people understand what it is you are fighting for and what it is you are fighting against. so the choice is clear. i think if it goes to the fabrications and -- or worse, then it is something else. side. >> my question is sort of related. do you believe that your
6:41am
campaign and governor romney cost campaign to have a decrease or increase the possibility of bipartisanship in politics? >> i think our campaign has increased the bipartisanship -- is that what you are asking? >> either campaign. >> i do not know whether our campaign or their campaign did that, but i think the voters did. you can see already, there is a different tone in washington. i think elections matter. the voters spoke. even though the race was relatively close, it was not that close in the electoral college. even the margin has expanded now to 4 million votes. i think people read those results. i think, for example, on an
6:42am
issue like immigration reform, the prospects for passing comprehensive immigration reform in the near future -- near future are much greater than they were three weeks ago election. i think the chance of coming to an agreement on this fiscal cliff are greater today because of this election. results. i do not know whether our campaign or their campaign fostered the environment for that. i think the voters did, and that is as it should be. >> the last couple questions -- we will come back to this side. >> my question is, in the days following the election there was a fair amount of coverage about the divisiveness of the obama for america ground game -- i was wondering, how you need you think that model was for this campaign and candidate, and
6:43am
if this might be the new model, to be replicated -- how is that going to play out in 2016, especially where both candidates will have a contested primary and maybe not the opportunity to set up offices in iowa for a year and a half out from the election? >> the field has always been important in elections. there was a time when the field meant political organizations did field work. chicago is renowned for fieldwork, only it was done by precinct captains for a long time. fieldwork is important. it is not a substitute -- i liken it to a football game. the message has to get the ball close enough to the goal lines so the field can win the game. you cannot simply win a race
6:44am
with field. but what has happened is the marriage of social media and a traditional field work, so that we can -- we are far more efficient at communicating with people. we registered more voters online this campaign than we registered altogether in the last campaign. so the technology has made it easier to organize. in a weird way, the technology has made it easier to individualize hour appeal to voters and the dialogue with voters. i think what was done with this campaign was light years ahead of what we did in the last campaign. whoever is in 2016 will have to reinvent it again because the technology changes so rapidly. twitter was nothing four years
6:45am
ago, and look how important it was in this campaign. one other surprise -- i was surprised at how little the republicans invested in the field in their primary campaign. one thing that really benefited us in 2008 was we had a 50- state primary campaign. from the beginning, we were determined to run a very aggressive and field campaign. we set up operations and all the states -- in all the states. in the battleground states, those organizations sustain themselves. in iowa, that was very important. so i would not, given the nature of the process, at least in those early states, if i were running in 2016 i would not do what was done in the
6:46am
republican race, which is turn it into a media campaign. he will not leave any lasting the general. >> a question over here? >> i was really excited when president obama came out in favor of gay marriage. it felt like a rest and a hard left, but i was surprised by other issues that i felt the american people cared about that the candidates were silent on. such as the drug war, climate change, environmentalism -- it took a long time before they talked about afghanistan. i was wondering if there was any rhyme or reason to those issues? that -- the president talked a lot about afghanistan and made it clear we would withdraw our troops in 2014 and that was something he has probably spent
6:47am
a great deal of time talking about. that governor romney engaged on that, and that became a debate in the campaign. on the issue of climate change, there is no doubt that that is a central challenge for us and the world. the president said in his first campaign and in this campaign. some of the things he has done, doubling fuel efficiency. the first time we have raised them in 30 years. doubling of renewable energy. these things are some of the changes in environmental law relative to emissions -- they are all part of that effort. we have got to do more. we have to build on that. but it is certainly a commitment. one thing we recognize is that it does not have to be a competition between our economy and our health, because
6:48am
renewable energy and clean energy have economic benefits that are pronounced, and people understand that. so we highlighted the issues we felt needed to be highlighted for voters who are going to make the decision in the election, but the president's agenda is reflected in his work, and i expect he will continue to work hard on this issue is. questions as we wrap this up. >> thanks for coming back to the university of chicago. i have a quick follow up. regarding super pac's -- you just now reclaim your concerns about unlimited money in campaign financing. on the other hand, we saw earlier today had democrats
6:49am
were already oiling up their machines for 2014 and 2016. what are the prospects for repealing citizens united or comprehensive campaign financing reform now that it seems both sides are ready to embrace the idea or at least merged with their super pac's -- knowing the money has limited powers? >> let's stay with that question in the interest of time. i think it is a substantive one. >> what i will tell you -- yes, i think the president said during the campaign that we should pursue other avenues to try and restore sanity to this process. perhaps even include a constitutional amendment. but it is also true that no side is going to, given what we just saw, you are not going to
6:50am
see unilateral disarmament. it may be foolish to do that. it is not just relative to -- remember, when you are talking about super pac's -- there is a more insidious cousin of 501c4's which run campaign ads under the guise of social welfare education and are completely undisclosed. at least super pac's have to disclose their donors. the 501c4's do not. we certainly need to make sure -- i think they would raise far less money if people had to reveal their donations. they would be loth to take some the nation's and reveal who they were taking the money from. so we have to pursue all these avenues. in the interim, i could not
6:51am
advise the democratic party to as a matter of principle just lay down arms and get mode over in the next election. i think that would be a mistake. we have to work together. or we have to move together -- we all have to be operating under the same roles, or else we will have a disproportionate result in the election. question. >> i have always been told to say something proactive before i throw out a curve ball question. >> thank you for the warning. >> i grew up in the south side of inglewood, so -- my hope is that before the session concludes you can share with all of us again how we can contribute to epilepsy research and at least temporary retirement of it. now for the curveball -- i have been a south side er doc for
6:52am
three decades and i have a love relationship with the institution. it worked at ok -- to my point, medicare, let me step back -- obamacare, i have a love, how long does this marriage have to last, relationship. it is tremendous legislation. it is astounding. people the talking for centuries about this. it is just incredible. i love it for my patients. i certainly do not want us to fall back on ryan-style vouchers for medicare. i know as a er doc that the romney solution for universal access is not in my department for many, many reasons. there is something that both
6:53am
republican and democratic wonks have agreed on. w's budget people agree on it. the sustainable growth rate of medicare is much more insidious and will ruin medicare long before a voucher-style system. how can you have two different parties agree on something so very fundamental and not come together and get it done? >> good question. i want to make one other point, which is that i have a love affair with the institution as well. dr. richard landau has been on the medical factor for 60 years. let me answer the medicare question and then finish.
6:54am
we lengthened the life of medicare by eight years with the affordable care act. the question was not ever that we do not need to do something to deal with the challenges facing medicare and an aging population. in the question is how, and whether a voucher program which slowly shifted costs to the beneficiaries ultimately in a crushing weight was the answer, or whether we needed to reform the system and save money in the system. that is what we = have to have the determination to do. i am sure there will be discussions about other things that might have to get done.
6:55am
fundamentally, we need to, as they say in washington, make medicine more efficient. >> do you think there is any chance of getting to an agreement on any part of it this first year in the second time in the congress? >> part of it has to do with seeing the affordable care act through. that is a great step forward on november 6 -- we will see it through and it will produce real results in terms of -- we have already seen results in terms of cost containment. i think we will see much more. the rest of it, i think we will see. i think everybody has said we have to have an honest discussion. without limitation. i think that discussion will go forward. but let me just address the epilepsy peace -- some of you may know that i have a child.
6:56am
our daughter, lauren, 31 years old now, they found her in her crib and thought she had passed away. it turned that she has had a seizure. we took her to the hospital and saw her have another -- the most frightening thing i had ever seen. a baby having a grand mal seizure. they told us them it was a febrile thing, fever-induced. nextyou'd be better the day. we left the hospital a month later and she was still having up to 10 seizures a day. this went on for 18 years of her life. off and on, these flurries of seizures that would not stop. they did tremendous damage to her, robbed her of her childhood, robert hurt of many life.
6:57am
it kills almost 50,000 people a year. susan 13 years ago started a foundation to help find a cure so other families and children do not have to go through what we saw our daughter go through or lose their kids, as we saw many parents and do. and so, fast forward to the mustache -- i made a bet on television with joe scarborough that if we lost pennsylvania, michigan, or minnesota, that i would shave my mustache off. he agreed he would grow one if we want florida or north carolina. of course i one of the bet. joe negotiated his way out by saying he will give us $10,000 -- they have been great supporters of hours -- and they would do a fund-raiser for us and we're a fake moustache of our choosing.
6:58am
we then said, if we could raise $1 million by the end of this month for epilepsy research, for a cure, i would still shave off my moustache on "morning joe." this is the final week. $900,000. there is still time. anybody who wants to log on to slashthestache.com can contribute. [applause] >> i know i speak on behalf of everyone when i say we look forward to seeing much more of you on campus. thanks so much for everything. >> thank you. i am so excited to be here. i think this is going to be an extraordinary institute. students are going to benefit from it. the community will benefit from it. we'll make university of chicago a real destination for
6:59am
the newsmakers, for practitioner in politics. it will be a great addition to what is already a great institution. >> thanks so much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> on c-span this morning, "washington journal" next live with your phone calls and then they all female new hampshire's congressional delegation and obama campaign adviser david axelrod and in about 45 minutes, the university of marynd